Antetokounmue, Middleton helped Bucks defeat Lakers 109-102

Antetokounmue, Middleton helped Bucks defeat Lakers 109-102

Milwaukee Giannis Antetokonmo scored 47 points, and Chris Middleton tied with Milwaukee’s 3-pointer record, as the Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-102 on Wednesday evening.

Middleton returned after missing eight games due to COVID-19, playing 30 minutes and making three consecutive throws by 30 seconds early in the fourth quarter to put the Bucks ahead for good. The second of those three was his 1051 with the Bucks for a Ray Allen match for number one on the all-time team roster.

“It’s a very special place,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think we all admire what Khreis does every night, his ability to shoot, the different ways he gets 3 hits, and his kind of consistency and longevity here.”

Allen holds the NBA record with 2,973 three-pointers in a career that also included stints with the Seattle Supersonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.

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LeBron James missed the Lakers’ eighth game in a row due to abdominal fatigue. The Lakers went 3-5 during this stretch.

Los Angeles is also missing Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Noone, who have yet to appear in a game this season.

“It’s part of the game,” said Anthony Davis, who scored 18 points for the Lakers. “Same with the team we just played. They got injured too. It’s kind of in line with the league, the business of the game. You go in there and put your body to the test every night, God forbid, something’s going to happen in one season. Someone’s going to get hurt. They should. To adapt and keep fighting until we get everyone back.”

Tallinn Horton Tucker scored 25 points for the Lakers two nights after a career high 28 in a 121-103 loss to Chicago. Russell Westbrook scored 19 points, Malik Monk 11 and Carmelo Anthony 10.

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Antetokounmpo scored his highest score since scoring 50 in the Game 6 Finals victory over the Phoenix Suns that clinched Milwaukee’s first title since 1971.

“I wanted to be the aggressor over there,” Antitokonmo said. “I wanted to start calling, get into the paint, do the right play and play my advantage outside.”

Bobby Portez added 17 points for the Bucks. Middleton and Pat Connaughton had 16 each.

This was only the third game this season that the Bucks’ top three players – Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Jrue Holiday – were all available. The only other times were in a season-opening 127-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets and a 121-111 victory in San Antonio on October 23.

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Bucks Brook Lopez center has not played since the Nets game due to a back problem and goalkeeper Donte DiVincenzo is still out in his first season. Defenseno tore a ligament in his left ankle during the first round of the 2020-21 Qualifiers.

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Lakers: Coach Frank Vogel has talked practically about changing the name to Lakers Stadium. The building known as Staples Center since its opening in October 1999 will become the Crypto.com Arena starting on Christmas Day. “It’s tough, do you know what I mean?” Vogel said. “Lakers fans and really sports fans in general I think they’ll know this building as Staples Center. I understand the fans’ disappointment, but that’s the way the world goes. That’s the business we’re in. Almost across the country, there’s a commercial element to naming rights with arenas It is really out of our control.”

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Bucks: This victory kicked off a five-game starting position for the Bucks after they returned from a five-game road trip. The Bucks went 2-3 on the trip and finished with losses in Boston and Atlanta.

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Lakers: In Boston on Friday for game two of a five-game trip.

Bucks: Hosted Oklahoma City on Friday. The Bucks split two games with the Thunder last season.

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